Mangham rallies past Central Catholic to win 1A title

MONROE — For the second day in a row, Mangham allowed its opponent an early lead with two runs.

And for the second day in a row, the No. 2 seed came storming back. On Saturday, the Dragons took home their first Class 1A state baseball title — and the first for a Class 1A public school in more than a decade in a 4-2 win over Central Catholic of Morgan City.

“I can’t put it into words,” coach Scott Wilcher said. “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, but it feels great. I’m so proud of these kids and this community is great as you can see by the crowd. It was awesome. Hopefully we can keep this going.”

Mangham sophomore Ridge Heisler started the game, allowing a walk before Central Catholic shortstop Sam Guarisco came through with a two-out, RBI single to score the first run of the game.

Catcher Dominick Guarisco followed with an RBI single of his own to almost the same spot in right-center field to score his brother for the quick 2-0 lead.

Heisler settled in, though, and from there, pitched six scoreless innings and allowed only four more hits. The right-hander also struck out six, while walking one.

“He got stronger as the game went on, no doubt,” Wilcher said. “When he came out, I don’t think he was quite as ready — of course with the crowd, but once he got going he didn’t stop. He’s a bulldog.”

The Dragons got on the board in the second inning, starting with a one-out double by second baseman Trey Cureington.

Cody Turner came through two batters later with an infield single. Turner also knocked in the go-ahead run in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly to earn the MVP award for the 1A title game.

Mangham tied the game in the third with designated hitter Dylan Ridgeway hitting the only home run of the tournament — a solo blast over the left field wall to give the Dragons full momentum.

“I knew it was gone as soon as it happened,” Ridgeway said. “It boosted our confidence, and it helped us out a lot.”

The Dragons finish the year 25-7 and Central Catholic dropped to 28-9.

The Eagles starter Bryson Barbier also tossed a complete game, taking the loss after giving up four runs on 11 hits. The right-hander walked two and struck out three.